Friday, May 29, 2009

Journal of a Living Lady #348

Nancy White Kelly

Now that summer has officially arrived, Buddy and I are spending much more time outside. We have six hens and a rooster that provides us with plenty of eggs. A benevolent neighbor gave us four rows of his garden to plant as our own. We have the usual variety of vegetables: corn, peas, okra, squash, potatoes, and several varieties of tomatoes. If we can keep neighboring cows and hungry deer from sneaking in, we should have a bountiful harvest again this year.

Buddy does the planting. My work begins when he proudly delivers the vegetables to the kitchen counter. Last year I shelled, canned and froze food like no tomorrow. Considering I was raised in the city, preserving food continues to be more of a novelty than an absolute necessity. Cost-wise, I think we would come out even buying vegetables at peak time, but that isn’t the point, is it?

My mother was a wonderful cook. Unfortunately, as a young girl who played too much Hide-n-Seek, I learned many of life’s lessons from the kitchen the hard way. Experience. Buddy has been wonderfully patient during these forty-four years of marriage.

As an older lady now with infinite acquired wisdom, I feel compelled to pass along these helpful insights to all you home-makers of the current generation. Even if you don’t eat better, at least your house will smell better.

Let’s begin with…

EGGS - When something starts pecking its way out of the shell, the egg is probably past its prime.

POTATOES - Fresh potatoes do not have roots.

SPICES: Most spices do not die. They just fade away. However, spices will do fine on your shelf forever. Just don’t forget to put them in your will.
MEAT - If opening the refrigerator door causes stray animals from a three-mile radius to congregate outside your house, toss the meat.
CANNED GOODS - Any canned goods that have become the size or shape of a cantaloupe should be disposed of ... very carefully.

UNMARKED ITEMS IN THE FRIDGE: You know left-overs are well beyond prime when you're tempted to discard the container along with the food.

AND FINALLY… Most food cannot be kept longer than the average life span of a hamster. I would suggest keeping a hamster in your refrigerator to gauge this. And speaking of creatures, a new study shows that LICKING THE SWEAT OFF A FROG can cure depression. The down side is, the minute you stop licking, the frog gets depressed again.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Journal of a Living Lady #347

Nancy White Kelly

Poor Buddy. He doesn’t get a lot of sympathy from me most times because he has a new ailment every day. I tell him he is like the boy who cried wolf. One day he is really going to be sick and I’m not going to know it. Over the years I have grown rather indifferent to his complaints. Recently I kept count of how many consecutive days that he told me he was tired. The tally was 32.

Buddy gets at least one if not two annual physicals. All his blood work is fine. Buddy isn’t sick. He is just getting older.

Yesterday he woke up complaining about a sore shoulder. Again I humored him. Poor baby. He then said his neck was aching too and sort of stiff. Again, poor baby. When Buddy asked if we could go out for breakfast, I reluctantly agreed even though I had a pile of “to do’s” on my list. At least it would get his mind off his shoulder and neck.

Buddy pitched the car keys to me with today’s good arm. I stopped at a restaurant about halfway to town hoping to get back in time for the usual eleven a.m. time of the Ye Old Coin Shop.
The busy waitress finally took our order. Buddy, in obvious discomfort, grew crankier as the minutes ticked by. I perked up our conversation in an attempt to keep his mind off his pain and the poor service. The chit-chat evolved into a warm discussion. He was unhappy that I wasn’t taking his hurting seriously enough.

Buddy is a hard person to read when it came to illness. I do care greatly about this husband of mine, but sometimes giving excessive sympathy makes the situation worse. Our personalities are totally opposite. I prefer to suffer in silence. In contrast, he likes to at least vocalize, if not dramatize, his every pain. I kid you not. Ask him about the toe he hurt in the Navy.

This day I questioned Buddy about radiating pain, headache, shortness of breath, and any other possible symptoms that could be the precursor of something serious. My conclusion was that he slept in a poor position resulting in a neck crick. I suggested a hot shower and offered a massage. If that didn’t help, I would call the doctor for an appointment. That seemed to appease him.

Finally home, Buddy opted for a heating pad. I gave him a pain pill. He slept for a couple of hours and by mid-afternoon he was moving around the house slowly. By nightfall, he was eating popcorn and watching television. There was no further mention of his shoulder and neck.

Apparently Buddy didn’t have spinal meningitis or some insidious, paralyzing disease. This morning he is outside cutting grass and dealing with moles and ant hills. I expect my tired husband to come into the house any moment now wanting breakfast. Life is back to normal.